Crisis Intervention Counseling
Youth For Tomorrow Opens Crisis Intervention Center in Woodbridge
Without question youth in the greater Prince William County area, indeed in the state of Virginia, are the most underserved population when it comes to mental health services. With a grant from Potomac Health Foundation, Youth For Tomorrow will soon begin to narrow the service gap by offering to the community the same kind of extensive counseling services they have been providing to students and their families at their on-campus facility in Bristow for more than 26 years.
The need for expert care for our youth is severe and urgent according to Director of Program Services at YFT Dr. Courtney Gaskins. In announcing the opening of a Crisis Intervention Counseling Center in Woodbridge she stated, “YFT receives 10 calls a week from parents in distress over emerging mental, behavioral and substance abuse issues from their adolescent children. YFT will be equipping families with the expert tools of mental health professionals with skills to strengthen and keep families together.” The center is scheduled to open February 1, at 2500 Hunter’s Place in Woodbridge. Fay Phillips-LeSane, a crisis intervention counselor with more than 30 years of clinical experience in both the private and public sectors in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia will head a staff of three at the center. While the center will not provide a hot-line function, counselors will be on call to provide 24-hour services to existing and former clients in addition to scheduling new clients.
In an editorial in The Washington Post on January 12, 2012, a writer stated that Virginia’s tattered safety net for at-risk kids needed mending. Funds for mental health have been drastically cut at both the state and local levels. At a forum sponsored by the Manassas Soroptimist Club that same evening a panel of experts including Dr. Gaskins and Ms.LeSane tackled the growing issue of human trafficking, a growing area of concern because of the young girls and boys in the region who are being sex trafficked.
It is to address these critical issues that Youth For Tomorrow and its trained experts will reach out to youth and families to tighten the safety net particularly where services are barely or non-existent. LeSane commented, “With this new facility and the services it offers, children and families will know there is a place to fill the gap and prevent them from falling through the cracks.”